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County championship preview – division one

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If the money men at the ECB had their way, the English domestic season would begin in January and end in November; with December reserved for a new indoor T20 Premier League (funded by some dodgy Texan no doubt). Therefore, although much of the country is currently under snow, you will not be surprised to hear that the start of the English county season is almost upon us. That means it’s time for...

T20 world cup squad – selectors take a gamble, literally

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What exactly is our plan for the upcoming T20 tournament in the Windies? I could phone up Geoff Miller and ask him, but I doubt even the chairman of selectors knows. The rumour is that James Whitaker has a one-armed bandit in his living room. When he gets together with his fellow selectors, they allegedly replace the symbols with the names of county cricketers, pull the handle fifteen times and...

England taste victory – but did you like the cricket served up?

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England’s victory in the most densely populated nation on earth was much like a Bangladeshi curry. It was bloody hot, devised by a Cook, and with Stuart Broad and Jamie Siddons at hand, proceedings often came with a side portion of argy bhaji. Unfortunately however, the cricket on offer failed to sizzle. Much of that was down to the moderate performance of the two teams, but mostly it was because...

The quiz

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Good news: Ian Bell finally scores his first ever test century an an innings where no other batsman has also reached 100.  Bad news: it’s against Bangladesh.  Meanwhile, as England meander back into the game at Dhaka, we thought a little quiz was in order, if only to raise morale. E-mail your entry to maxie@thefulltoss.com . Answers will be published on Sunday 28th March. Good luck. 1. Who was...

Reflections on the test – is conservatism an English disease?

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No doubt a number of MCC members, if not all of them, will be voting conservative in the upcoming general election. It would be interesting to know how many are genuine Cameroons (that’s fans of David Cameron, not ageless footballer Roger Miller), or whether the English cricketing establishment is simply attracted to the word ‘conservative’ by instinct. After all, if conservatism means ‘risk...

It’s just not test cricket

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Bangladesh have turned themselves into a useful one-day outfit. They have some flamboyant batsmen, useful all-rounders, and a couple of tidy spinners capable of stemming the run flow. What they don’t have, however, is dangerous pacemen, tactical awareness and self-discipline. Unfortunately for the hosts, these are the qualities that Test cricket requires. On Friday’s evidence, it’s easy to see...

The ECB’s new friends at Conservative Central Office

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Few topics reveal the warped nature of ECB cricketing logic more vividly than their desperation to avoid returning The Ashes to terrestrial TV. And now Lord’s top brass will be pinning their hopes on a Conservative election victory in May. The party’s sports spokesman Hugh Robertson this week implied that a Tory government would not enforce the David Davies review’s recommendations – namely, that...

Afghanistan: cricket’s new frontier?

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. It’s hard to think of a more marvellous cricketing story in recent times than Afghanistan’s qualification this weekend for the World Twenty 20. At virtually the same moment as thousands of troops poured into Helmand for the Nato offensive, a thousand miles away in Dubai, the nation’s cricketers were beating Ireland by eight wickets to win the ICC T20 qualifying tournament. It was their fifth...

England heading into uncharted waters with captain Cook

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Let’s just think about this for a second. On the one hand there’s Paul Collingwood – a senior pro with captaincy experience that commands the respect of his team mates (and who is, incidentally, already captain of the T20 side). On the other there’s Alastair Cook, a man with little to no captaincy experience, who doesn’t seem like a natural leader, and who was fighting for his place in the team...

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